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About 5,000 people gathered Thursday in Virginia Beach for a memorial service for the 30 service members, many of them locally based Navy SEALs, killed when the Taliban shot down a helicopter in Afghanistan on August 6, the Navy said.

The 90-minute event at the Virginia Beach Convention Center was closed to the press; Gov. Bob McDonnell was among those slated to attend.

In a statement, the Navy said, “The Naval Special Warfare community thanks the people of Hampton Roads and communities across the nation for their generosity and outpouring of support during this time of mourning and healing. The community remains eternally grateful to citizens across the nation who have come to the aid and support of our service members and families during this solemn period.”

Source: The Virginian-Pilot via Hampton Roads.

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